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MOV.AI releases Flow ROS robot development environment

MOV.AI, developer of the Robotics Engine Platform announced today the beta release of Flow, a visual Integrated Development Environment (IDE) designed especially for ROS-based robot software.

This open IDE speeds up and streamlines robot software development with a visual representation of ROS projects that makes it easy to understand ROS projects and allows simple and intuitive development.

MOV.AI Flow makes it easier to import assets, reduces configuration and integration work, speeds up debugging, and makes it easy to port projects across environments, and share with the community. 

Limor Schweitzer, founder of MOV.AI and a long-time robot enthusiast, says: “Robotics is an exciting field that ignites the imagination of millions, but robot development is complex, and there are very few development tools that simplify it. ROS is a great development foundation that is constantly evolving, but it was built for expert robotics researchers.

“We built a platform that bridges the gap between human imagination and its realization. MOV.AI Flow helps non-experts visualize the numerous different elements that make up a robot and the logic of how to build robot behavior.

“We are sharing it with the ROS community so that non-experts can use it effectively from day one to realize their ideas. Our vision is that high school students, robot enthusiasts in their garage, and experts will all be able to improve our lives with the help of robots.”

Motti Kushnir, MOV.AI CEO, says: “MOV.AI Flow was initially developed by the MOV.AI team as a byproduct of working with ROS to develop robots and robot software. As they worked on their projects, they also built tools to make their lives easier.

“We decided not to leave it at that, but to pay it forward to the larger robotics community. We took the separate, ad hoc tools and further developed them into a full-blown visual IDE that can be used by almost anyone to develop a robot. That is what we are releasing today in the form of a source available tool.”

MOV.AI Flow is based on ROS and was developed with the intention of making ROS accessible to a wider community. In the spirit of ROS, the tool is completely free and the source code is available on GitHub under a source-available license.

The license allows developers to use the FlowTM code freely and adapt it to their needs, including developing commercial products, with minimal exclusions.

MOV.AI Flow beta main capabilities:

  • A visual ROS editor with a visual representation of robot behavior, drag-and-drop editing capabilities, and support for both existing and new ROS projects
  • Built-in visual state machine and node orchestration
  • Callback editor for multi-protocol event-handling
  • Visual debugging both during simulations or in run-time
  • Configuration editor, for easy viewing and editing of parameter files
  • Out-of-the-box integration with the ROS ecosystem
  • Easy porting into a runtime environment, or for sharing with others in the ROS community

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